Ways To Celebrate Yourself On Self-Care Day

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated May 28, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

National Self-Care Day in the US occurs on April 5th each year. International Self-Care Day occurs on July 24th each year and marks the end of Self-Care Month, which is recognized by the World Health Organization and begins June 24th. These days were created to promote self-care and raise awareness of the positive effects that caring for your mental and physical health on this day and year round can have on your life and community.  

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Professional mental health support can be a form of self-care

How to celebrate 

You can celebrate International Self-Care Day by focusing on the areas in your life that you hope to improve through caring for your mental and physical health. The International Self-Care Foundation set International Self-Care Day on July 24th to symbolize that the benefits of self-care can be felt 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore, the goal for these self-care days is to encourage you to practice self-care year-round, not just caring your yourself for a single day in April or July. 

The positive impact

Self-care is about much more than just preventing illness and disease. Acts of self-care should promote overall wellness, too. There are many positive impacts of caring for yourself, including the following. 

Physical health benefits

Studies show a positive mind-body connection. For this reason, many of the activities you might use for self-care can help you take care of yourself physically and mentally healthy. For example, exercising can improve muscle strength, brain health, and your immune system, covering all the things necessary for physical wellness. In addition, mindfulness and meditation can help you achieve lower blood pressure, boost your immune system, and improve sleep, showing the importance of care in every area of life.  

Sleep can be equally as essential to taking care of your physical health as well. One study on a lack of healthy sleep found that it was connected to “hypertension, type two diabetes, impaired immune functioning, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, and dementia.” Self-care by sleeping at the same time each day, sleeping the recommended number of hours, and practicing healthy sleep hygiene and care can be one way to address physical health issues. 

Mental health benefits

As there arephysical benefits to taking care of yourself, there can also be mental benefits. Some forms that have been connected to mental well-being, such as the following: 

  • Meditation and mindfulness

  • Laughter

  • Spending time in nature

  • Making art

  • Practicing yoga

  • Cleaning your home 

  • Spending time in the sun 

  • Journaling or expressive writing 

  • Eating a healthy meal 

  • Spending time with a pet

Relationship benefits

There can also be relationship benefits when you practice self-care. For example, if you come to your partner having taken care of your needs first, you may not feel that you require the support of another person in every situation.  By taking care of yourself and not putting your needs on the back burner, you might also feel that you have more mental and physical energy to focus on the person you care about, ask about their day, and feel more joy during your time together. 


Self-care exercises to try

Self-care can mean many things to different people. What matters is that you find an exercise or method that helps you check in with yourself and your emotions, provides a safe space for you to address your needs, and helps you destress. Maybe you can include some of these practices on International Self-Care Day or use it as a jumping point to create a new self-care routine.

Meditation and mindfulness

Mindfulness and meditation have been proven to increase self-compassion and improve physical and mental health. Taking care of yourself this way might involve taking a moment to get some fresh air or grounding yourself by focusing on breathing patterns.


Journaling can be an effective method to incorporate self-care into yourdaily routine. To practice this daily care exercise, get a small notebook or piece of paper, write about how you’re feeling, and reflect on what you’re thinking or how your day went. You don’t need to follow a train of thought or judge yourself about your writing. Just let your thoughts flow. Studies show that expressive writing, like journaling, can have mental health benefits. 

DBT self-soothing skill 

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is based on emotional control, mindfulness, and distress tolerance. One of the skills in the DBT workbook is called self-soothing and is similar to the mindfulness exercise with the five senses. To practice it, find one activity to partake in for each of your five senses.

Self-love is about treating yourself with the samekindness and compassion that you would offer to others. With these activities, you can honor your needs and nurture your well-being.


Regularly exercising can be a healthy lifestyle choice. Below is a way to exercise that could also fall under mindfulness called mindful running: 

  1. Go on a 30-minute run. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothing for the temperature and location.

  2. As you run, notice five green objects within the first five minutes. 

  3. Within the first ten minutes, try to spot at least three workers (it could be a mailman, delivery person, or police officer). 

  4. Within the first twenty minutes, try to notice three different scenes (e.g., kids playing, a mom talking to her child, or a couple on a date). 

  5. Within the entire run, note five aspects of your environment that you find beautiful. 

Sleep hygiene 

You can practice sleep hygiene every night. However, if you have struggled with sleep in the past, you could include new habits into your routine, such as the following: 

  • Not eating at least an hour before bed 

  • Maintaining a comfortable temperature in your bedroom 

  • Ensuring you do not work in your bed during the day 

  • Putting your personal devices away one hour or 30 minutes before you sleep 

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Professional mental health support can be a form of self-care

Reaching out to a therapist

Reaching out to a therapist can be a way to prioritize self-care, as it allows you to receive professional support and guidance for your mental and physical health. Counselors are also trained in therapeutic self-help skills that may benefit certain mental health conditions, symptoms, or stress in general. 

Many people may feel too busy or stressed to attend a weekly in-person appointment. In these cases, you can fit counseling into your schedule by meeting with an online therapist. Online therapy is often more available because you can attend it from home on any device with an internet connection. You can also choose between phone, video, or live chat sessions. Furthermore, many studies show the efficacy of online therapy, including a recent study that found that internet-based modalities can be more effective and cost-effective than in-person methods for common mental health conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

If you are interested in seeing a counselor, you can sign up for platforms like BetterHelp for individuals or ReGain for couples. 


National Self-Care Day and Awareness Month highlight the importance of caring for your body, mind, and relationships. To celebrate this day, you might partake in exercising, mindfulness, or one of the guided skills above. If you’re looking for further support, dealing with a mental health condition, or would like to speak to a professional, you can also consider reaching out to a therapist for more guidance.
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